There’s a reason why most mammals, including us, turn to grooming, massaging and close physical contact during times of stress, illness or pain and that’s because it’s good for us in lots of ways. We already know about how hugging and massage can increase levels of the feel-good chemicals like oxytocin and endorphins, but there’s lots of other benefits that we still don’t fully understand yet even though we can feel them.
Here’s just nine of the many reasons you should build massage into your life by scheduling a regular treatment.
Massage can help headaches
Whether your headaches are caused by muscular tension or whether they’re migraines, there’s medical evidence to say that regular massages can reduce their frequency and severity.
About those tense muscles…
We all have stressors and most of us respond physically to them with muscle tension, which leads to pain and headaches. A midweek massage can break the cycle of tension that can often have you in knots by Friday.
A massage can reduce anxiety and stress
Around a third of the western world’s mental health “load” is anxiety. Anything that can counteract stress hormones is a good thing – for the individual and society as a whole – and a regular massage treatment will do just that.
It can also reduce back pain
Another common ailment is back pain and massage can help to alleviate it. Some studies have shown that back pain sufferers can reduce their painkiller consumption by a third if they have regular massages.
Massage increases flexibility
Sports and deep-tissue massages actually stretch the muscles so much they cause micro-injuries in the fibres. As long as the massages are followed up by stretches, the muscles and connective tissues will repair in their new elongated state.
Massage can help cancer patients
Massage can’t cure cancer, but it can help with the nausea, pain, anxiety and feelings of depression that often accompany chemotherapy. It can give patients a real lift, as well as something to look forward to.
Massage can relieve insomnia
Around a third of adults suffer from insomnia and a weekly treatment can reduce this sleeplessness. A lack of sleep has many knock-on effects, including a lowered immune system and mood problems, so anything that promotes sleep is of huge benefit.
It can reduce pre-menstrual symptoms
The water retention, cramps and general malaise that some women feel just before and during their period can be reduced significantly by a well-timed monthly massage.
Massage can relieve postural stress
Office jobs can often lead to postural stress, with many of us hunched over screens, holding a phone between chin and shoulder and tensing up every time we lose at management-speak bingo! This muscular stress can affect not just shoulders and neck, but the lower back and even the glutes and thighs. A brisk massage once a week can help to combat this.
What are you waiting for? Get scheduling!
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